Bethany walked through the dim pre-dawn light filtering through the lone window at the far end of the hallway. She arrived at her door, the missing ‘0’ of apartment #303 still easily discerned from the unfaded wood between the two gold number threes nailed directly above the door’s peephole viewer. She briefly wondered what happened to the gold zero, certain it had been there when she had moved in at the beginning of the semester.

Unlocking the door she crossed the threshold, kicking off her shoes and collapsing onto the couch as her cat Janx ran from the bedroom to voice his displeasure at once again being left alone to fend for himself overnight. She smiled at her disheveled appearance reflected in the TV across from her as she scratched Janx behind the ears, feeling both tired and elated from the previous nights excursion. Since meeting Brad two weeks ago they had spent almost every day and night together, and what a difference he was from the dull sex of her previous boyfriend. But it wasn’t just that, there was something else about him as well. Yes, he was a fun lay, but he was also funny, intelligent and kind and they spent just as much time talking and laughing as they did in their more amorous activities. Bethany felt sure that if he came home with her for the holiday break he would get the mom seal of approval, and she began devising her plan to make that happen as she drifted off to sleep.

Janx, realizing he was not going to get any more attention than the simple ear scratches, leaped up onto the back of the couch to admonish her with a few more meows from above while finding a resting place warmed by the morning sunshine now streaming through the kitchen window. He lay down, curling himself into a ball to nap near her so he would be awakened if she tried to leave again before feeding him his breakfast.

A few hours later Bethany was awakened by a dim noise coming from the street below. While it was normal for her to be awoken by her neighbors partying or fighting, one of the compromises of apartment living, it was much rarer for something from the quiet street three stories down to attract her attention, especially with all of the windows closed.

Getting up from the couch she ambled to the sliding glass door to her balcony, opening the door and walking out in her bare feet to peer down at the normally quiet street below, searching for the source of her rude awakening.

Word Combinations: dull sex, fun lay, mom seal, nap near, dim noise, rarer